I’m indulging in a book that is entirely polar opposite from my take on Life…
It’s fascinating and informative…it’s exposing me to a thought process that is foreign to me – the art of Power, the art of War, the art of Manipulation and Control…even as I type these words, I feel a sense of “Oh, no!” That’s so un-yogic. I shouldn’t type that or else people will think that’s who I am… so this is precisely why I’m listening to the book and divulging my un-yogic-ness to you…because it’s important for me to get over what people think of me.
The truth is, I’d be a horrible manipulator and power-grabber… unless I was playing a role: then I’d be phenomenal at it.
My innate tendency is to be extremely open and welcoming with everyone who comes my way. Over the years, I’ve learned about difficult personalities the hard way: by getting f**d over: even then, I tend to look at the bright side of things. I have rarely have ever told anyone off, even when they deserve it. I’m often told I’m too nice: stated as a weakness.
My natural state is to forgive. I strive to see the best in others, even if they act in ways that are hurtful, annoying or disrespectful. I will walk the path of patience and friendship with them, time and time again. I will eventually express my unhappiness. I will eventually confront them, but I have a very long string of patience that sometimes lasts years past its suggested expiration date. Most people don’t pay attention to my confrontations because I rarely confront in anger. And by the time I’ve had enough and they are listening, it’s too late. I’m done. I’ve walked off, happy and free.
Call if a weakness or call it a personality trait, but that’s what I do.I’m nice and patient until one day, I can’t handle it anymore. I reach my breaking point and that’s it. IDGAF. I can walk away from a relationship, a friendship, a business opportunity and not look back once. I have the uncanny ability to cut someone out of my life in a heartbeat.
Psychologists have told me that I mourn the loss of someone or something long before it’s over, so that by the time I walk away, I’ve already passed the hard part of letting go emotionally.
In the end, it’s who I am. I give and I give and I give. I’ll subtly warn you at first. I will explicitly warn you next. If you continue to take advantage of me or ignore me, you’ll probably still be in the picture for a long time, years even… and then, one day, it’s see ya later! I’ll tell you the friendship is over and I won’t answer the phone. I won’t communicate to you. Nada. There’s no coming back into my life. I will want nothing whatsoever to do with you. I’m done and have moved on.
I’m a strange goose, aren’t I?
Why don’t I manipulate more in relationships, friendships and the like? Because I perceive it as untrue to form. But if I take on a role, as in a real-life character, I am a brilliant manipulator. I’m a really good real-life actor. It’s fun to be that person that we really aren’t, and I suppose we all do it, to a certain degree.
I did it in my 20’s when I was “secretly” dating this French guy. I played a role and played it well. I enjoyed it. It wasn’t the most positive and spiritually uplifting experience for me…far from it, actually. But I learned a helluva lot about myself and about men and about relationships.
I played a role when I worked as the Guest List gal for GIANT Club back in 2000 and 2001. I worked the guest list for a club that was so insanely popular, it used to have a line around the block that was hours and hours long… every single Saturday. I didn’t work the regular line: I worked the VIP/Guest list line, and I can’t even tell you how many people offered me $100 bills to get through the guest list line. I refused them all. It wasn’t honest of me to take their money. I wanted to keep my job and I far greater enjoyed the sense of power that comes with saying “Sorry, you’re not on the list.”
Part of my job also included handling the DJ’s and their friends/publicists that they traveled with. I would them pick up from the airport, take them to their hotel, then to the club, then back again. Sometimes, I’d hang out and party with them. It was an incredibly fun weekend job (I had a day job during the week working for a literary agent, which is a whole other story… think Swimming With the Sharks…that was my job.)
The role playing wasn’t fake, but it also wasn’t entirely 100% me. During those club times, I played the extrovert role. I am an extroverted introvert. I LOVE being around people. I LOVE crowds. I LOVE dancing. I LOVE loud music. I LOVE [really good] DJ’s and I LOVE how I feel when I’m dancing in a huge crowd. Honestly, my slice of heaven could be walls of speakers and some really funky bass. It’s not that I was faking it… I was merely indulging in one aspect of my personality more so than all aspects at once.
…cuz after working the club, I would disappear, hole up in my tiny little Venice studio apartment and write for days…write and write and write. I’d refuse to answer the door or the phone. I’d do what I have to do – write and go inwards, to balance out the outwards-energy of my weekend.
Another job that never came to be — working for the CIA.
I applied to work for US Government (CIA) three times while in High School. Each time I was rejected. I couldn’t understand why. At the time, I could speak Russian and Spanish fluently. My dad is Egyptian and I had a few ramblings down in Arabic, as well. I was very good at languages. I was a straight A student. I had no criminal record. I didn’t drink or smoke or do anything “bad.” Why didn’t they want me?
The third time I was rejected, the CIA warned me not to apply again, not until all of my living relatives in the Soviet Union (this was pre-fall of the USSR) had emigrated to the US and 15 years had passed. Well, that was a big FU to me, so I burned the letter and vowed to never work for the US Government, even if they begged me.
So where am I going with this?
Bringing this back to last week’s newsletter a bit — the desire to be something will never leave us.
After last week’s newsletter, I had an incredible conversation with one of my favorite and most respected teachers, Brad Keimach. He’s not only a heartfelt yoga teacher, but an amazing conductor who apprenticed with none other than Leonard Bernstein. He wrote in response to my newsletter:L
“One of the most important relationships we can develop is the relationship with Desire, hopefully to finally understand that satisfying a desire does not end Desire.” (Brad)
“I like this a lot,” I answered, “because sometimes I think people misconstrue what yoga teaches…there is a perception that in order to truly pursue yoga, the ideal state is one of complete non-attachment, that a state of non-desire is the key to happiness. (Never mind that anytime there is an “ideal state,” or a goal, this initiates another desire…)”
“Non-desire? Non-attachment? We are human, we have these thoughts. The issue is, what do we do with them? A yoga practice, especially a tapas practice, allows us to retrain the mind so that we don’t give value to thoughts that do us no good (at best.) …the mind is not concerned with truth. But inside, WE each get to choose where and what we think.” (Brad Keimach.)
Bravo, Brad. Thank you for allowing me to share your words!
So how do we begin to turn off that constantly negative and wandering voice?
Can you live with YOU?
Or do you escape you? Does that inner voice haunt you? You know, that voice isn’t you. It’s just a part of the mind that’s been fed more than another part has. Like Brad says, we get to choose what we think… if we still ourselves enough to make that choice. If we’re constantly distracted, it will never happen.
Meditation is a great place to begin. … I’ve uploaded 7 free meditations on iTunes and Podomatic.
They’ll soon be up on Google Play, as well.
Some of you have sent me written testimonials about the meditations: Thank you!! Those of you who provided testimonials will receive links to an easy post-hike yoga stretch sequence I use almost every day. If you haven’t provided a testimonial, it’s not too late… send ’em over. Thea writes:
“I started my journey with Aria many moons ago in her prenatal yoga class. What struck me about her then is what strikes me now, she has the innate ability bring me back to me. As I make my way through her guided meditations, I feel more connected to my inner self. The full body relaxing meditation helps me clear my head and settle after a big day. With her gentle, soothing voice Aria starts with the simple words, “Welcome to your body, welcome to your space…” and suddenly everything around me melts away.” – Thea G.
It’s time for me to go…and enjoy my Friday night with my daughter and my puppy and my puppy’s boyfriend from next door, who’s circling around me with drooly Labrador joy.
Ahhhh… I almost forgot. The book I’m reading, if you haven’t figured it out, yet, is called The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. And boy, is it a trip!